Stepping Out & Stepping Up Project Receives 2 Grants in December 2020

The Stepping Out & Stepping Up Racial Justice Project has been the recipient of two awards in the month of December 2020.

First, our team was one of 10 awardees from the initial round of The Ohio State University’s Seed Fund for Racial JusticeMore information about this grant can be found here. Deliverables from this project will include:

Outcome 1: Leveraging FNDI’s connections with Tribal Nations across the U.S. – who were removed from Ohio or whose land was granted to Ohio State – to facilitate new dialogue between Native peoples and representatives of our university.

Outcome 2: Developing an initial understanding of what specific reparative actions would most benefit the Native American communities impacted by this land dispossession and the process by which it could be jointly designed. Findings from this immediate deliverable will be reported in both scholarly publications and presentations at professional conferences, as well as a workbook for use by other land-grant universities in planning for their own reparation activities.

Outcome 3: Advancing a Land Acknowledgment statement that moves our university away from its current “past tense” and more sentimental recognition of transgressions and toward an indigenous relationship that reminds the Ohio State community about the pervasiveness of colonialism and the opportunity to foster a mindfulness of our present-day obligations, thus establishing a more genuine relationship upon which future interactions can be based.

Outcome 4: Formulating a demonstration/research project at Newark Earthworks regarding indigenous farming practices, with attention to how traditional practices may improve food sovereignty in Native American communities, and the incorporation of indigenous agricultural practices into a new CFAES Sustainable Agriculture major and modern agricultural practices.

Outcome 5: Recommending to Ohio State and the State of Ohio a reconciliation plan with both the people and process required for progress and plan elements that may include, for example: a) providing economic development and technical assistance to tribal families and communities; b) assisting with innovative strategies for land tenure and financing of Native American food system infrastructure; and c) designing a scholarship program for indigenous people whose families and tribal communities have been affected by university-related dispossession.

Second, our team received a Collaborative Centers Grant from Ohio State’s Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme. This second award was the result of an emerging partnership with the Ohio State University’s Humanities Institute. Deliverables from this project will include:

Outcome 1: A web-based catalogue of Native American-serving agencies and organizations in Ohio, as well as a more refined understanding of the various constituencies served by these enterprises.

Outcome 2: The web-based presentation of the historical sweep of American Indians in Ohio, including the development of a narrative concerning their adaptation to geographical separation from their tribes and lack of recognition and support from the state of Ohio regarding their existence and needs.

Outcome 3: Creation of an exhibit – curated by NEC Director John N. Low – detailing the ancestral Native peoples of the region and the work of the NEC that will be shown at the LeFevre Gallery on the Newark campus (to be shown virtually if future shutdowns due to Covid-19 are mandated).

Outcome 4: One keynote presentation and one panel discussion that will focus attention on the scholarly work that addresses past and present colonialism within and among land-grant universities. The presentation and panel discussions will be held live (virtually), will involve some of the most prominent voices in this area and will be recorded and placed on the NEC website.


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